In a move that could privatize many state jobs, Republican Gov. Bill Haslam is exploring the idea of outsourcing building operations and other management services at Tennessee facilities that include prisons and public colleges and universities.
The White House announced a program aimed at improving the government’s response to heroin abuse across 15 states in the Northeast, saying the federal government would spend $2.5 million to hire public safety and public health coordinators in an attempt to focus on the treatment, rather than the punishment, of addicts.
Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee said he's still negotiating with state lawmakers about a plan to fund public education and was not ready to call a special session, despite the mounting cost of a $100,000-a-day fine imposed last week by the Washington Supreme Court.
Legislators have filed bills they say would help prevent food stamp and unemployment fraud, including one that would seek to add a photo to food stamp debit cards issued in Wisconsin. Another would impose a seven-year ban on unemployment benefits for anyone who defrauds the system more than once.
A plan by some lawmakers to unseat a sitting state Supreme Court justice appointed by Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe fell short of the necessary votes. In Virginia, the General Assembly makes judicial appointments. However, the governor can temporarily fill a vacancy during a legislative recess as McAuliffe did, but the legislature must affirm the appointment.
While Congress remains stalled on a long-term plan for funding highways, nearly a third of the states have approved measures this year that could collectively raise billions of dollars through higher fuel taxes, vehicle fees and bonds to repair old bridges and roads and relieve traffic congestion. The surge of activity means at least half of the states have passed transportation funding measures since 2013.
A joint legislative committee will examine a court challenged to Gov. Bill Walker’s move to expand the Medicaid health care program. Walker announced last month he was using his executive power to expand Medicaid after lawmakers rejected his attempts to do it during the legislative session.
The National Labor Relations Board dismissed a union election petition from Northwestern University football players, halting a push to organize college athletes.
Traffic deaths were up 14 percent nationally in the first six months of this year and injuries were up by a third, as an improved economy and low gasoline prices have encouraged Americans to put a record number of miles on the road. If the trend continues, traffic deaths this year could exceed 40,000 for the first time since 2007, when there were nearly 44,000 deaths.
As they meet during a special session this week, California lawmakers will consider additional taxes on cigarettes, health insurers and real estate transactions in order to fund health care, affordable housing and road repairs.
The Florida Legislature budgeted $44 million to reward highly rated teachers who also earned high scores on college admissions tests, but some teachers are so disdainful of the test score requirement that they’re not applying for a bonus.